Michael Jordan, the Washington Wizards' newly named president of basketball operations, said tonight that he is still evaluating the team, as well as the performance of Coach Gar Heard, and plans to continue that work when he returns to Washington on Monday.
"They're going to be all right," Jordan said of the Wizards, whose record slipped to 13-30 with Wednesday's 120-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Asked what his next step would be regarding the team, Jordan said: "I'm still evaluating."
Asked about his impressions of the job Heard was doing, he said: "I'm still evaluating."
Jordan became part owner and president of basketball operations for the struggling franchise on Jan. 19. His involvement with the team is expected to boost morale among players, create a marketing buzz around town and help recruit free agents.
Still, the Wizards will be constrained by salary cap problems for some time. The team is roughly $17 million over the NBA's $34 million salary cap.
Jordan practiced with the team at MCI Center on Monday, having said that the best way to evaluate a player's ability and heart was to look him in the eye on the court.
On Wednesday, he flew to Atlanta, site of Super Bowl XXXIV, where he and business partners John Elway and Wayne Gretzky unveiled an on-line sporting goods company. This evening, the legendary threesome hosted a private party to promote their new venture.
Asked how his first week with the Wizards had gone, Jordan said: "Oh, I love it. It's a lot of fun. . . . I always consider myself as a businessman. I've just got to make decisions that I'm going to be accountable for those decisions when the time comes. It's fun actually. I'm enjoying myself."
Jordan declined to pick a favorite in Sunday's Super Bowl.
"I don't pick," he said. "The one with the most points is going to win."